the keys to blessings
"His disciples gathered around Him, and He began to teach them: 'How blest...' " —Matthew 5:1-3
The Lord wants to bless us much more than any of us want to be blessed. He even went to the extreme of becoming a man, dying on the cross, and rising from the dead in order to give us the ultimate blessing, that is, salvation.
The Lord will usually not impose His blessings on us. He graces us to choose to accept His blessings. We can accept His blessings by making the following eight decisions. We can decide to:
- be "poor in spirit" (Mt 5:3). By voluntary poverty, we downsize our lives and in some ways live below our means.
- sorrowfully repent of our sins (see Mt 5:4) and to express this in Confession.
- be lowly, humble, submissive, and docile (see Mt 5:5).
- want righteousness and holiness more than we want to breathe, eat, or drink (see Mt 5:6).
- "show mercy" (Mt 5:7), that is, to treat others better than they deserve.
- be single-hearted (Mt 5:8), that is, to live for the Lord alone with a pure heart and not with mixed motives.
- be peacemakers (Mt 5:9), even at the cost of our lives (see Col 1:20).
- be persecuted for love of Jesus (see Mt 5:10). This is the ultimate privilege.
The Lord is waiting for us to open the door of blessing. The Beatitudes are eight keys which unlock the door.
Prayer: "Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts."
Promise: "You shall drink of the stream, and I have commanded ravens to feed you there." —1 Kgs 17:4
Praise: Showing mercy to an emotionally abusive spouse, Linda prayed faithfully for her husband's conversion until the day he died.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflet, The Beatitudes.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, December 16, 1999
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 18, 1999